The windshields of most automobiles are made of laminated glass. They are presumed to be effective because they prevent break-ins due to the force required to break them. Laminated glass is made up of plastic sandwiched between two layers of glass.
Tempered glass is used for different reasons in cars. Most people don’t know what the differences between laminated and tempered glass are. Both are essential to your vehicle.
So, is windshield glass tempered?
This article explains everything you need to know about tempered glass and windshields.
Do Windshields Use Tempered Glass?
Tempered glass is not used in windshields. It is designed to be used for passenger windows on cars. This is because if broken, or when it breaks, it disintegrates into small sizes like a teaspoon full of rock salt. There should be no large pieces of glass that could injure the passenger or the driver.
Tempered glass is strong, safe, and could save lives as opposed to standard glass. Although tempered glass might look similar to any other type of glass, it is different.
How can you tell if the glass is tempered?
To find out if the glass is tempered, examine the edges to ensure they are completely smooth. The smoothness of tempered glass is due to the extra processing that it goes through. When the edges of the glass are exposed, run your fingers along them. You can try this with the passenger window of your car.
If there is an impression of roughness (provided the roughness is not a result of abrasion) then the glass is not tempered.
View the glass through polarized lenses. You will see lines stretching across its surface, or shady spots, which is an indication that the glass is tempered (hardened). These lines are formed by machine rollers during the tempering process.
Keep an eye out for a tiny label or etching in the corner of the glass. This will show the name of the manufacturer and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. It is a stamp that indicates whether the glass is tempered or not.
What type of Glass is used on Windshields?
The glass used for the windshield is different from the glass used for rear and side windows. Laminated glass is the glass used on windshields. Laminated glass is made by inserting a piece of plastic between two layers of glass.
The three layers are sealed together, then a vacuum system or rollers are used to remove any air pockets. They are then heated to seal them together. The final product is laminated glass. Laminated glass is designed not to shatter, but to crack into a spider web pattern when broken.
The glass is laminated, bent, and shaped in a precise way to fit well onto the frame of the vehicle. It also provides structural unification.
Why is laminated glass used on windshields?
Laminated glass is used on windshields for the following reasons:
High strength: The strength of the glass is a result of the interlayer material. The interlayer has high tensile strength and good rigidity. As a result, it requires a lot of force to break through a laminated windshield.
Resistance to shattering – Laminated glass is resistant to shattering. The interlayer holds the glass in place when it cracks, thus the glass does not shatter. This prevents injuries.
Sound-proofing – Laminated glass acts as a sound barrier to outside noise. Sound that passes through laminated glass is absorbed by the two layers of glass and the plastic interlayer. The soundproofing ability prevents you from getting distracted while behind the wheel.
Security – Laminated glass acts as security not only for the driver, but also for passengers. It helps to protect from objects, stone chips, etc. that are thrown up from the road. In case of any damage from a projectile, it won’t penetrate the glass but will chip it.
Is the Windshield Shatterproof?
Yes, the windshield is shatterproof.
You might have realized that whenever something happens to the windshield, or when it experiences an impact, it doesn’t shatter. Yes, it will crack, but in the shape of a cobweb. But it never disintegrates. This is because the glass is laminated.
Shatterproof glass is used because it is safe.
Is my Car Window Tempered or Laminated?
To establish whether your car window is tempered or laminated, locate the label or etching in the corner of the glass, usually located in the lower corner of the pane. The label is etched permanently onto the glass. It has relevant information about the glass such as the name of the manufacturer, the codes describing the glass, and either the word laminated or tempered.
Alternatively, wind down your car window halfway and look at the edge of the glass. If the glass is laminated, you will see the laminated layer in the center along the edge of the pane. In contrast to this, layering won’t be visible along the edge of a piece of tempered glass.
If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, which can be sometimes tricky, a quick visit to your local glass shop will help.
Is Tempered or Laminated Glass better for a Windshield?
Tempered and laminated glass are both used in automobile vehicles however, they serve different purposes. To start with, tempered glass cannot be repaired because it disintegrates into rock crystals. Its composition is different from that of laminated glass and that is why it is used in rear glass windows on vehicles.
Laminated glass on the other hand is best for the windshield. The manufacturing and composition process is different from that of tempered glasses. Laminated glass is strong and safe in case of an accident. It is hard to break, so the chance of you or your passenger being thrown through a broken laminated glass in a crash is lower. This is thanks to the three layers in laminated glass. The two glass layers and the layer of Ply-Vinyl Butyrl. This is a plastic product that is used to bind the two layers of glass together.
Replacing tempered glass is no different than replacing laminated glass. Laminated glass is a lot easier to clean up when broken though. After all, it’s held together by the laminated layer. With tempered glass, you have to clear thousands of small broken pieces.
The composition of laminated glass makes it slightly more expensive than tempered glasses. In recent years, different companies have started to use laminated glass for rear and side windows.
When manufacturing laminated glass, the PVB has to be correct, or else, the glass has no use.
Knowing the difference between the laminated and tempered glass can be a matter of life and death. It is important to know that laminated, not tempered glass is used in vehicle windshields. This is because of its strength and the fact that it does not shatter which reduces the possibility of injury. Tempered glass is used for rear and side windows.